We'll learn more as the week progresses, and yes, that's "week," not "the next 24 hours," according to Barney Frank and assorted important members of Congress who appear increasingly eager to tinker with the Bush administration's financial bailout plan. Obama talked about his own sweeping proposal this morning, while McCain professed to being "deeply uncomfortable" with the Bush plan. (Really, it's the Paulson plan. He's president now, right?)
From the Department of Less Important News comes the ongoing "controversy" over the fact that McCain has 13 cars, a few of which are foreign. Think how unwieldy his keychain must be! That must be an especially lucky number for the Arizona Senator, as it turns out he's also currently the 13th richest member of Congress, according to one estimate. He can't dump any of that money into his campaign now (it's mostly Cindy's anyway), but he could always take out some frustration by buying The New York Times.
11 AM EST: Stocks started down today; Does Wall Street think the House and Senate are capable of completing a massively complicated and expensive piece of legislation in a week? Does ANYONE think they are?
A worried President Bush, who must be new to town and thus unfamiliar with how Congress works, said this morning that "it would not be understandable if members of Congress sought to use this emergency legislation to pass unrelated provisions, or to insist on provisions that would undermine the effectiveness of the plan."
McCain and Obama are likely reviewing their schedules right now, and hoping that the key Senate votes on the financial package, whenever they do come, don't force them to miss any big campaign events. Obviously they won't be willing to miss Friday night's first debate, and we learned today whom each candidate will use as a foil in their practice debates: Obama's camp will have uberlawyer Greg Craig stand in for McCain, while the McCain shop has asked, um, Michael Steele to stand in as Obama. Expect the pro-Obama blogs to have a field day with that one.
Need a break from the presidential campaign? Head over to the D.C. federal courthouse today for a good, old-fashioned corruption trial. Jury selection starts today for "Uncle" Ted Stevens, who allegedly forgot (and who among us hasn't?) to report on his official disclosure forms that he got all kinds of goodies -- a massage chair, wraparound deck, discounted car, etc. -- from an Alaska oil services firm. Related question: Has anyone gotten a substantive answer from Sarah Palin on whether she's endorsing Stevens for reelection?
8 AM EST: Another day, another seismic shift on Wall Street for which John McCain and Barack Obama can tar each other as unprepared. This morning's headliners are Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, and the swing-state datelines will be Pennsylvania (Scranton and Media) for McCain and Wisconsin (Green Bay) for Obama. The Eagles won and the Packers lost yesterday, and if you can figure out what that means for November, we want to hear your theory. Find out how to share it at the end of this post.
Good Monday morning, and welcome to the official launch of Political Browser, a new feature on washingtonpost.com that brings together the day's most important political stories, polls, videos, facts, statistics and photos from around the Web, selected by the Post's award-winning political team. We hope to make Political Browser your go-to page for the best or most provocative journalism on the presidential campaign, as well as key races for Congress and statehouses. We will be updating the page throughout the day, so come back again and again for the best take on news and analysis that is shaping the day's political conversation. (Go ahead and bookmark it. You know you want to.)
This blog, The Takeaway, will provide a quick dose and analysis of the latest news, beginning at 8 a.m. ET, and updated every few hours as your humble blogger ingests more caffeine. And away we go ...
Sunday's fine slate of NFL games was bracketed by Important Television You Should Have Watched, starting with Hank Paulson making the round of all the morning shows, always a neat trick when you think about how far apart some of the studios are. His (highly reassuring) message: We don't really know yet how much the bailout will cost, but we have to do it.
Sunday night brought 60 Minutes of Obama and McCain and, blessedly, no Andy Rooney. McCain caused a brief stir by suggesting he might appoint Andrew Cuomo as SEC chairman, a choice that conservatives would just love, right? Both Obama and McCain declared themselves absolutely, positively ready to handle an economic crisis, and we'll hear their latest lukewarm endorsements of the Bush administration's bailout plans at those Pennsylvania and Wisconsin speeches.
On Capitol Hill, The Takeaway's second home, the House and Senate will try this week to complete bailout legislation as well as a continuing resolution to keep the government running at least through mid-November, so don't expect either chamber to adjourn by Friday.
So, do you have thoughts on how the NFL results might affect November? Or thoughts on anything else? Please do weigh in in the comments section below or in any box on the Political Browser page. Better yet, head over to the Reader Picks section and tell us what stories and blog posts we should be reading and featuring.
September 22, 2008; 6:31 AM ET
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